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UK employment rises but wages fall - "Election battle lines drawn not around those who are out of work, but those in work" - reaction from Indeed economist

Mariano Mamertino, EMEA economist at the global job site, Indeed, comments:

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“Britain’s labour market is pulling workers in opposing directions - more jobs are being created but both productivity and real wages are falling.

“The UK’s job creation engine continues to purr away, with both the number of people in work and the number of vacancies reaching record levels.

“With many employers now shrugging off their post-referendum reluctance to hire, in many areas there is a full-blown battle for talent.

“But with inflation at its highest level for four years, wage growth is slowing and people’s pay packets are simply not keeping pace with rising prices. Those in work are slowly getting worse off.

“So it’s no surprise that both main political parties have made workers - and their pay - key election issues.

“Against this economic backdrop - in which employers are bullish and hiring but employees are seeing their real wages eroded - the Conservatives are seeking to encroach on typical Labour territory.

“Research published by Indeed shows that Britons now see the two parties as equally likely to support working people.

“The labour market is creating jobs at a steady rate and unemployment is at its lowest level for more than four decades. But the decade-long productivity puzzle persists - with British output per worker once again languishing below trend and far behind that of many European countries.

“Jobs are a perennial election issue - but this time the battle lines are being drawn not around those who are out of work, but those who are in work and seeing their living standards begin to slide.”